Fishing Report: Rain plays major role in WON Bass event

Changes in the weather turned things upside down for the 91 teams entered in last weekend’s two-day WON Bass Tri-States Tournament at Nacimiento Lake.

“A color change made all the difference in the world,” said Steve Bereda, who was part of the team that shot from 41st after the first day to an eighth-place finish. Santa Margarita’s Bereda and partner Dale Ball of Creston made the ascension in the last three hours of competition.

“About noon, Dale switched to a watermelon red color trailer on his jigs. He had been using cinnamon purple trailers,” Bereda said.

The rain-drenched combatants improved their bag weight from 7.36 pounds, which was nearly four pounds off the lead after Saturday, to a more desirable 9.56-pound Sunday limit.Their 10-fish total of 16.92 pounds paid $1,040.

The Bishops — son Darrin and dad Del — entered the competition thinking they would emerge as champions.

“I don’t often feel that way entering a tournament but in practice the two weeks prior we had been easily catching 11- to 12-pound limits,” said Darrin of Paso Robles. “The major weather change included a dip in temperature, frost and rain on Friday, fog on Saturday and more rain on Sunday. There was tremendous traffic on the lake prior to the event with some teams practicing for 10 straight days. It also didn’t help when I lost a 3 1⁄2-pounder Saturday.”

The Bishops placed 14th with limits totaling 16.33 pounds worth $360. An 8.81-pound Saturday bag had the Bishops in 11th place.

Atascadero’s Gene Gray and partner Jay Short of Templeton lamented their 7.28-pound Sunday limit. “We did OK Saturday. An 8.98-pound limit had us in ninth place, but we didn’t help ourselves Sunday,” Gray said.

WON Bass Tri-States Championship, Team, Region, Number of Fish, Weight — 1. Bryan Grier, Scott Mullins, Salinas, ML, 10, 19.77 pounds; 2. Ken Mah, Mark Crutcher, V, 10, 19.10 pounds; 3. Alex Niapas, Garrett Anderson, ML, 10, 18.88 pounds; 4. Darryl Masterson, Dean Miller, GV, 10, 18.02 pounds; 5. Billy Skinner, Shaun Bailey, CO, 10, 17.63 pounds. (Grier & Mullins as North champions won Nitro Z6 Mercury 115 hp Pro XS boat package); Skinner & Bailey, top finishing South team, also won boat package.(Regions: ML, Mother Lode; V, Vineyard; GV, Golden Valley; CO, Colorado River). Placings Central Coast Teams, Finish, (Day 1 Place) — 8. (41) Dale Ball, Creston, Steve Bereda, Santa Margarita, 10, 16.92 pounds; 9. (5) Jason Letterman, Chris Rains, Salinas, 10, 16.82 pounds; 10. (66) Sam James, Tom Nieto, Salinas, 10, 16.59 pounds; 14. (11) Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 10, 16.33 pounds; 15. (9) Gene Gray, Atascadero, Jay Short, Templeton, 10, 16.26 pounds; 20. (43) Shawn Lee, Arroyo Grande, Ken Sauret, Paso Robles, 10, 15.73 pounds; 24. (59) Erik Zillig, Cambria, Damon Meeks, Atascadero, 10, 15.39 pounds; 35. (32) Casey Langley, Aaron Quarles, Nipomo, 10, 15.01 pounds; 37. (77) Aaron & Eddie Davidson, Atascadero, 10, 14.86 pounds; 40. (56) Neal Franklin, Atascadero, Rudy Rowlett, Paso Robles, 10, 14.61 pounds; 43. (14) Danny Knotts, Santa Maria, Tim Sharpe, Grover Beach, 10, 14.50 pounds; 46. (18) Tai Martin, Pismo Beach, Paul Douglas, Santa Barbara, 10, 14.06 pounds; 48. (47) Nick Salvucci, San Miguel, Dusty Kahler, Atascadero, 10, 13.80 pounds; 60.(51) Marc Hazuka, Atascadero, Al Rush, Paso Robles, 10, 13.26 pounds; 64. (69) Dustin Isbell, Calvin Long, Vandenberg Village, 10, 13.02 pounds; 71. (75) Sam Sawdey, Paso Robles, Josh Brard, Atascadero, 9, 12.35 pounds; 76. (84) Mark Scribner, Pismo Beach, Graham Grove, Atascadero, 10, 11.92 pounds; 82. (83) Byron Hallett, Templeton, George Stamper, Paso Robles, 8, 10.91 pounds; 84. (35) Mark Hinson, Scott Hellesen, San Luis Obispo, 5, 7.56 pounds; 88. (60) Clay & Paul Gates, Paso Robles, 5, 7.56 pounds; 90. (67) Dan Barrios & Justin Goodman, San Luis Obispo, 5, 6.44 pounds

Saltwater anglers tournament and barbecue

 A fishing tournament followed by a barbecue with Jim Banakus in his element as the head chef is set for Nov. 19 at Port San Luis.

Tourney participants will ante up $20 to vie for the “biggest lingcod and the biggest other dish such as Halibut or white seabass.” The tourney begins at 5:30 a.m. with weigh-in at 2:30 p.m. Moorings are available for $10 per night.

Contact PSL Boatyard at 595-7895 for details. Those who fish from kayaks also are welcome. Among the raffle prizes is an Avet Gold MXL reel donated by Fish-o-holics, 1064 C, Grand Ave., Arroyo Grande. The winners of the two fishing contests will each receive 25 percent of the entry fees. The remaining 50 percent will go toward barbecue expenses. More details will be printed in next week’s column.

Whale Rock

Neither of the seasonal leaders caught fish in week No. 28.

Entering the final five days of the season Gary Collier leads Joe Reynolds 35 trout to 34. Last week 23 anglers caught 10 fish. On Saturday, Pat Morris caught 12-, 14- and 17-inch fish on worms. Newcomer Tom Pickett landed 8- and 16-inch trout Friday. He returned Saturday and bagged two 8-inch and a 16-inch trout, all on lures. Another newbie, Jeff Minkler, reeled in two 15-inch fish on lures Sunday.

In 140 days of fishing, 408 anglers have landed 127 trout, a prodigious total in excess of the usual count.

Virg’s Landing

Jessie Spencer of San Luis Obispo took jackpot honors Saturday on an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. trip aboard the Princess with a 14-pound lingcod.

A Ladies Day trip aboard the Princess with captain Sharon Rowley is planned for Wednesday for $25. Men are welcome for a $59 fare.

Call 772-1222 for reservations.

Last week 84 passengers caught 889 fish including 49 lingcod and 410 red rockcod. Jackpot winners included Dan Holtzman, Morro Bay, Robert Rincin, San Fernando, and Mike Villa, Los Angeles, all with 8-0 lings.

Patriot Sportfishing

Five of last week’s six jackpots fish were 8-pound lingcods. Mike Slagle of Reno, Nev., Arnold Luigi of Arroyo Grande, Steve Gieseke of Paso Robles, Tracy Smith of Bakersfield, and Steve Dufur of Hanford all caught 8-pound lings. Tifany Hall of Hanford won with a 6-pound ling. One hundred nineteen anglers caught 1,145 fish including 24 lings, 279 red rockcod and five bocaccio and cabezon.

For reservations and schedules call 595-7200. 

Port San Luis Boatyard

Twenty-two boats were dispatched last week. Anglers aboard caught 12 lingcod, one halibut and three bluefin tuna averaging 25 pounds.

No fish were weighed so there was no Whopper of the Week winner.

Santa Margarita Lake

Otis White of Maricopa and Austin Buckley of Santa Margarita caught seven bass to 6 1⁄2 pounds fishing with Ugly Bug jigs by the dam Wednesday. Richard Capper of Atascadero caught 12 crappie Sunday by the dam using crappie jigs.

Pacific Coast Region American Bass opens its 2011-12 campaign here Saturday.

Lopez Lake

Guadalupe’s John Adams reeled in a 2-pound smallmouth bass Saturday employing red worms. Anglers fishing off the F dock with chartreuse crappie jigs or meal worms are catching bluegill and crappie.

Cachuma Lake

Ken Hemer says trout have top billing. Recent plants from Calaveras Trout Farm are translating into limits of fish up to 3 pounds. Drakes Cove, E Point and Harvey’s Bay are prime locations. Anglers are using Thomas Buoyants, Kastmasters and Panther Martin lures.